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City unveils new renderings for downtown library project, construction expected to begin in 2025

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City of Santa Cruz

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (KION)- UPDATE ON MAY 16, 2024 AT 6:23 P.M.- The City of Santa Cruz unveiled new renderings for the Downtown Library Housing Project.

During the City Council meeting, the city's economic development team unveiled renderings of the exterior and interior of the library.

Photos courtesy of TenOver Studios

City officials said the project is expected to begin early next year.

City of Santa Cruz purchases Toadal Fitness site for downtown library project

UPDATE ON APRIL 25, 2024 AT 4:52 PM- It is another step in the right direction for a major housing project in Santa Cruz.

A City of Santa Cruz spokesperson confirmed to KION that the City purchased a Toadal Fitness building for $2.5 million dollars in order for the downtown library project to go forward.

A city spokesperson said that the Todal Fitness has until October to relocate to their new location on the 700 block of Ocean Street.

The city will lease Todal Fitness the current Lincoln Street space for $1 per month.

Toadal will get the first right of refusal on the 8,000 square feet of commercial space in the new space for the project.

The city's economic development team is working Toadal to finalize their relocation plan.

The city said the new commercial space in the project will be completed by 2027.

The project will include a new downtown library, 124 affordable housing units and a childcare facility.

Downtown Library Project gets final approval from Santa Cruz City Council

UPDATE ON MARCH 16, 2023 AT 11:46 AM- A project years in the making finally got a final approval from the Santa Cruz City Council on Tuesday night.

The council voted 5-1 to allow the Downtown Library and Affordable Housing Project . The project will be on Cathcart, Cedar and Lincoln Streets. The project has been planned since 2016 when Measure S was approved by voters.

The Downtown Library & Affordable Housing Project will replace the current downtown library.

The project will have the following features:

  • New Downtown library
  • 124 affordable housing units
  • A childcare facility
  • Commercial tenant space
  • 243 parking spaces including 25 EV charging spaces
  • 258 spaces for bikes including bike lockers.

As part of the project, the Council has required a total of 36 new trees to be planted on the project site and in Downtown Santa Cruz. 12 trees will be removed once construction starts. Wood from existing trees will be prioritized for potential use of the project.

Santa Cruz City Council approves moving library to mixed-use project

UPDATE 6/25/2020 1:30 p.m. The Santa Cruz City Council has approved a plan for a new downtown library in a mixed-use space that includes affordable housing and a parking garage.

The project was approved with a 4-2 vote Tuesday night after a year-long vetting process done by the Downtown Library Advisory Committee when there was opposition to a project design approved in 2018. The Santa Cruz County Chamber of Commerce said the project approved Tuesday night has nearly the same design.

The mixed-use space will include at least 50 affordable housing units and a maximum of 400 parking spaces. It will be built on parking lot 4 off Cedar Street.

PREVIOUS STORY: The Santa Cruz City Council is expected to discuss developing a mixed-use project and moving the downtown library to the ground floor.

If the project is approved, the mixed-use project would be developed on parking lot 4 near Cathcart, Cedar and Lincoln Streets. The library would be moved to the ground floor, and it would include a minimum of 50 low-income housing units and a parking garage.

Measure S; which provides bond funding to modernize, repair and upgrade library branches around the county; was improved in 2016, and because of the condition and complexity of the downtown branch, the City said it created the Downtown Library Advisory Committee. In September 2018, the DLAC recommended a mixed-use project incorporating the library, and the Council approved it.

Because there was opposition to the project, the City Council said it voted to put a hold on the decision and create a subcommittee to investigate alternatives in May 2019. After a year of reevaluating options, the Downtown Library Subcommittee said it feels it has met its goals and recommends moving forward.

In its report, the subcommittee says the library and parking garage will not impact the general fund. The project costs include $27 million in Measure S funding and $37 million in parking district funding. More funding may come from the City's Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

The project is expected to be discussed at Tuesday night's council meeting at around 6:30 p.m. The meeting will be held through teleconference only.

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Avery Johnson

Avery Johnson is the Digital Content Director at KION News Channel 5/46.

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